Water is rightly called the elixir of life. Rapid urbanization is exerting tremendous pressure on water bodies, resulting in pollution of the planet limited amount of fresh water sources. It is vital that humans have access to a clean source of water for drinking and cleaning. A contaminated water can harbor bacteria, causing illness and diseases for those using them.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your staff has clean water available to them. Though the US has one of the most reliable water supply networks, many regions in the country have contaminated water. If you are noticing a progressive decline in water quality in your area, it makes sense to install a commercial water treatment system in Sonoma.
How Do Water Treatment Systems Work?
A water treatment system uses one, or a combination of two of these methods to decontaminate water – reverse osmosis, distillation, filtration, ion exchange, and disinfection.
Reverse osmosis (RO), pressurizes and passes contaminated water through a semipermeable membrane. The process eliminates almost 90% of mineral and biological contaminants. The level of efficiency achieved varies depending on water pressure and membrane quality.
RO units remove substantial amounts of most inorganic chemicals including salts and metals, several organic chemicals, and most microorganisms; however, they may fail to remove nitrates.
A major drawback of RO units is that they waste large amounts of water (hence are not ideal for businesses located in areas facing water scarcity) and cost more upfront than many other treatment systems.
Distillation involves heating water until it vaporizes. As the steam recondenses, minerals, metals, and contaminants such as bacteria are left behind. Though effective, distillation has a few drawbacks. The process is very slow. Too much water is lost during distillation. Stills used to distill water are expensive and need frequent cleaning.
Filtration is a relatively simpler process. It uses mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, and oxidizing filters to purify potable water. Mechanical filters remove suspended contaminants such as sand, silt, organic matter, and clay from water. Activated carbon filters absorb contaminants as they pass through a carbon cartridge. They are used to remove odors, residual chlorine, organic compounds, and improve water taste. They can eliminate even some hazardous contaminants such as radon, trihalomethanes and organic chemicals. Oxidizing filters are used to remove hydrogen sulfide, manganese, and iron.
Ion exchange systems remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium that cause hardness.
Disinfection eliminates most viruses, bacteria, cysts, and worms. Some popular disinfection methods include chlorination, pasteurization, and UV water decontamination. During chlorination, a pump continuously dispenses chlorine into the water supply to kill bacteria and viruses.
Things to Consider When Buying a Commercial Water Treatment System
Before buying a water treatment system, consider your needs and evaluate if the system you’re considering can help you accomplish your goals.
Your Water Quality
Have your water tested. A water quality test will reveal the types of impurities in your water.
When it comes to water testing, there is no such thing as one size fits all. You may need different tests to determine the quality of your water than other businesses in the area.
Use a reputable water testing laboratory. A water expert will use their expertise and knowhow to decide which tests will give a clear idea of water quality.
The water expert will also measure water hardness. Different filtration systems are engineered to eliminate specific types of impurities. Look for a system geared to your specific needs. Remember to check its NSF rating.
If you have hard water but it does not have any major contaminants, you might need an ion exchange system; however, if there are chemical contaminants in your water, you might want to invest in advanced granular activated carbon filters (these filters are highly effective at removing chlorine – the most common chemical present in public water supply).
The System’s Flow Rate
The most efficient systems have a flow rate of over seven gallons per minute. Make sure the system you are considering matches the flow rate in your workplace.
The System’s Capacity
When buying a water treatment system, be sure to check its capacity to determine the amount of water it can purify every hour (it should produce enough clean water to meet the needs of your employees).
Most reputable contractors offer comprehensive warranties. Ask our contractor what’s covered and what’s not covered as part of your warranty. Take the time to understand what can void your warranty and get important details in writing.
When calculating the total cost of a water treatment system, perform a cost-benefit analysis (benefits should exceed the cost of the system). Every water treatment system requires periodic maintenance. In addition to considering the upfront cost of the system (including installation cost) and the cost of operating it, take into account the cost of maintaining the system over its lifetime.
Can’t decide between two equally good water treatment systems? Let Weeks Drilling & Pump Co. help. Our experts know everything there is to know about water treatment systems. To schedule an appointment, call 707-823-3184.